Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Now I've done it

I just hit upon the question of the ages -- does comedy work in novel format if the story's being told in first person?  Or does that dissipate the humor too much?  Especially if the person telling the story is being chatty and a bit reticent?  I honestly don't know.  What I've written so far with LD is humorous in a flip sort of way, but is it funny?  Is it really working as farce?

You see, I haven't read many funny novels.  "Catch-22" I think counts as one, and it's told in third person -- but it's really more of an absurdist story.  The "Flashman" series are funny, in parts.  Again, third, wait...were those first person?  I need to double check that.  Mark Twain could be as funny as hell (his essay on "The Awful German Language" makes you roar with laughter) but "Huckleberry Finn" was more serious than humorous...and is told in first person by Huck.  I like the "Mark Julian" series which has moments of humor, but it's the characters I get off on and that doesn't really count, does it?  To make things worse, I just could not get into "A Confederacy of Dunces."

To me, most of the comedies I know about are films or plays.  "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown."  "La Cage Aux Folles" (the French version, thank you).  "His Girl Friday."  "The Court Jester."  "Young Frankenstein."

Dammit, I seem determined to sail myself right into uncharted waters no matter what I'm writing.  Maybe I should just lay out the story and see what happens when I do the rewrite.  What matters is I get it down, right?

So could be my characters need to be CHARACTERS.  I dunno.  Just a contemplation to consider contemplating as I consider the complications of contemplating my characters.

Hmph, for some reason I'm thinking of George Hamilton in "Zorro, the Gay Blade" as he says, "All I know is the soldiers are quite happy shooting the people who say the people are not happy."

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